Esteve Pharmacy in Llívia The oldest apothecary shop in Europe
View of the façade of the Esteve Pharmacy in Llívia. Public domain
How were the magistral formulas (medical preparations) prepared in the 15th, 16th or 17th centuries? The pharmacy of Llívia, one of the oldest in Europe, reveals this mystery. It was already in existence in 1415. One of the first owners was the apothecary Jaume Esteve and the pharmacy remained in the family for 23 generations. Finally, in 1942, Lleó Antoni Esteve closed it down and it was given over to the care of the City Council and, later, to the Province of Girona.
Since 1981, the pharmacy equipment has formed part of the Municipal Museum of Llívia. The furniture, laboratory instruments, preparation and even glass jars from the 19th century have been preserved. Notable are the wooden Renaissance boxes painted with portraits of saints, sages, apothecaries and doctors.
However, the most distinctive characteristic of the collection are the albarello or cobalt blue ceramic pharmacy jars. The smaller jars, which used to contain the most precious or dangerous products, are kept in the cordialer. This piece of polychrome 18th-century furniture is one of the most eye-catching items in the collection. Also preserved is the library which contains, among other things, the book of formulas. The pharmacy space is contextualised by a series of audiovisual and digital resources.
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In the Municipal Museum of Llívia there is also an archaeological collection and other historical objects: from Neolithic axes to medieval pottery.
Open from Monday to Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Closed from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Open on Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
General admission: €3,50
Concessions: €3,00 for visitors between 13 and 30 years old and visitors over 65years old; €2,50 for groups of at least ten people; €1 for children between 6 and 12 years old
Free entry: children under 6